Many Santa Cruz County schools resume Wednesday, though SLV, some Pajaro Valley schools to remain closed

A dad helps his daughter through the flooded streets of Watsonville on Monday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District will open most of its schools Wednesday after closing many campuses because of storms, though several PVUSD schools affected by ongoing evacuation warnings will remain closed. After planning to reopen, the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District canceled classes Wednesday amid downed trees and other logistical issues. Santa Cruz City Schools will have regular instruction Wednesday.

Most Santa Cruz County school districts say they plan to resume in-person instruction Wednesday after the storm caused closures across the county this week.

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District will open most of its schools Wednesday, but several schools affected by evacuation warnings will remain closed, according to a letter from Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez.

The schools that will remain closed are Ann Soldo Elementary, Calabasas Elementary, Radcliff Elementary, Lakeview Middle, Pajaro Middle and Watsonville High.

A family watches the floodwaters rise in front of their home off E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville on Monday, January 9, 2023.
A family watches the floodwaters rise in front of their home off E. Lake Avenue in Watsonville on Monday, January 9, 2023. Pajaro Unified District School District cancelled its classes on Monday and Tuesday amid flash flood warnings and evacuations.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

In addition, the following alternative schools will also continue to be closed: Pacific Coast Charter School, Adult Education at the District Office, Infant Development Center at Watsonville High and Post Secondary at Watsonville Youth Center.

All other PVUSD schools will resume on Wednesday.

“For families with students at schools that will be open, we understand that some students may be absent due to evacuation or displacement. Please be sure to inform your school if your student will be absent,” Rodriguez wrote in a message Tuesday afternoon.

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She added that the district would notify all families before 5 p.m. Wednesday about any closures for Thursday.

In a letter to families Tuesday afternoon, the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District said its schools would remain closed Wednesday.

“Although it was our intent to open schools tomorrow, Wednesday, January 11, 2023, the trees that fell across Highway 9 by El Solyo Heights took out power to our tri-campus and several other areas around the schools,” the letter read. “In addition, that event also closed Highway 9 from El Solyo Heights to the high school entrance.”

Santa Cruz City Schools will have regular instruction Wednesday.

Scotts Valley Unified School District has remained open this week and plans to continue with classes Wednesday.

“We have been very fortunate this round with weather impacts on our sites. We have been open this week and currently plan to stay open,” said District Superintendent Tanya Krause.

Krause added that some district staff and students have been affected by the storms and some schools have seen a drop in attendance due to the extreme weather. “Fingers crossed we have seen the worst of it,” she said.

Soquel Union Elementary School District Superintendent Scott Turnbull said all of the district’s schools would be open on Wednesday.

Live Oak School District Superintendent Daisy Morales said instruction continued Wednesday at all schools and there were no plans to close as none of the schools were impacted by evacuation warnings.

Single-school districts will be open

Despite some challenges, like loss of power and leaks, all four single-school districts were open Wednesday.

Pacific Elementary was one of them.

“We plan to stay open for the rest of the week,” Superintendent Eric Gross said Tuesday. “It is wet and windy, but we haven’t had any noteworthy damage, other than the usual leaks in the roof.”

Happy Valley Superintendent Michelle Stewart also said the school will be open Wednesday.

“We lost power for a little while this morning, but it was on by the beginning of the day, and we were even able to go outside and play,” said Stewart. “As long as conditions are safe, we plan to remain in school.”

Bonny Doon Superintendent Mike Heffner said the school was without power and heat Wednesday but was open. They plan to be open for the remainder of the week.

Mountain Elementary Superintendent Megan Tresham said the school was doing well.

“The kids and staff were overjoyed to be back on campus (Tuesday),” she said. “We had some mild flooding and the expected debris strewn about but nothing noteworthy or concerning. As long as our campus remains accessible and conditions are safe, we will stay open.”

FOR THE RECORD: This story has been updated with Wednesday plans from several districts.


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